We are all off on a little holiday to Mallorca! I can't wait it's the first holiday I have been on in 2 years – I was way too pukey to fly when pregnant and then Zahara seem to be completely against any form of warmth. I know babies can't cope with the heat as they can't sweat to cool down but she took it to another level and would scream despite being dressed right down and it being relatively mild British summer heat. I have been thinking about things to take to make my life a little easier cooking in a kitchen that's not mine, and also time saving ideas – will share my lessons learnt when I get back in my newsletter.
Right the newsletter! Thank you so much for signing up, I have had unprecedented interest. Please bear with me and I hope to issue my first newsletter in July.
I have recently done a few bakes with low levels of refined sugar. I said previously when I researched this it was pretty patchy in terms of when it's ok to give sweet bakes to little ones. I have done more research. First, I am amazed at the number of kids/baby sweet bake recipes that just substitute refined sugar for maple syrup, honey or agave nectar. It's all well and good getting the recipe to work (which it's not actually that difficult), but essentially it's still sugar. For example pure maple syrup is around 2/3 sucrose (in other words standard table sugar). So you might use less of these sweeteners but more than likely the recipe will at best contain the same amount sucrose as a bake using low levels of refined sugar and at worst more! There are of course wider benefits to using some of these substitutes in terms of antioxidants and minerals. Some might argue that you can avoid the sugar hit with these substitutes as honey and maple syrup have lower GI, so will be slower at raising blood sugar levels, but essentially the difference is marginal, for example it would make no difference to a diabetic. Further to this I looked at some shop bought baby bake bars and they were ridiculously high in sugar at 25%, around 8g in a 30g bar, they hide it by using ingredients like Apple concentrate (liquid sugar in other words), or as my dentist said “teeth rotting raisins”.
So to cut to the chase I have decided that a once in a while refined sugar in a cake/bake is fine, especially if it's low levels. As a mum friend said to me “avoid sugar now your kid will only go bonkers at a friends birthday party when sugar sweets, cakes and fizzy drinks are on the menu”. Finally sugar is not as evil as you think, it's an essential energy source that in balanced diet will not cause any problems. If you think otherwise then just google replacing sugar in recipes and you will find a pretty simple hack for quantities to use when replacing sugar with other sweeteners. I did avoid giving Zahara any cakes/bakes until she was 1 years old, it's a personal choice, and that just felt right.
I won't be posting anything while I am on holiday so see you in a few weeks!